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A latent class analysis towards stability and changes in breadwinning patterns among coupled households


  • Nakai, Miki
  • Pennoni, Fulvia


We examine how couples'breadwinning patterns are classified and how they have changed over the past four decades during which we have seen increase in women's labor force participation. We explore how the latent variable of spousal breadwinning types is associated with the socioeconomic statuses. To this end, we consider a latent class model especially tailored for an underlying ordinal response derived by comparing two continuous variables. We develop method to estimate the model parameters accounting for the informative sampling design and missing responses. We estimate the measurement model parameters by means of a weighted likelihood function maximised through the Expectation-Maximization algorithm. In order to determine the suitable number of latent classes we rely on the Akaike Information Criterion. Then, fixing the obtained parameters we estimate the latent model parameters by adding the full set of covariates. We make predictions on the basis of the maximum a-posteriori probability. Using data from the Japanese surveys covering the period from 1985 to 2015 breadwinning patterns are examined. Our model discloses two latent classes, each of which represents distinct breadwinning types, namely ``traditional couples" and ``new couples". Interestingly, the two-class pattern persists across the four waves covering the past 40 years.

Suggested Citation

  • Nakai, Miki & Pennoni, Fulvia, 2018. "A latent class analysis towards stability and changes in breadwinning patterns among coupled households," MPRA Paper 89950, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:89950

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    Cited by:

    1. Fulvia Pennoni & Ewa Genge, 2020. "Analysing the course of public trust via hidden Markov models: a focus on the Polish society," Statistical Methods & Applications, Springer;Società Italiana di Statistica, vol. 29(2), pages 399-425, June.

    More about this item


    Akaike Information Criterion; Expectation-Maximization algorithm; Gender Inequality; Household Income Composition; Latent class model.;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C00 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - General - - - General
    • C14 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Semiparametric and Nonparametric Methods: General
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification


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